Wednesday, 28 February 2018

a colourful and cosy children's bedroom

when we moved back into the house, the first thing we wanted to get sorted was my son's bedroom. he was about 21 months at the time we moved and it was important to have enough space to play around - and thankfully he has one of the biggest rooms in the house.

we haven't taken painstakingly long to "decorate" as such - i'm more of a "throw it all together and hope for the best" type person. but it has seemed to come together, with elements of cosy as well as cheerful fun.

the first thing we knew we would put in the room to help organise things was the giant red Ikea shelves, which if truth be told, i don't really like, but they do seem to work in this room, thankfully! it contains all of his upstairs toys (we rotate), and his books and various other things like, toys for when he gets a bit older (i like to be prepared) as well as things from when he was younger (just in case we have another baby somewhen).

the book collection is pretty good, and i imagine it's about to grow this week with his 2nd birthday just coming up...

i bought a couple of these great fabric bags on Amazon ages ago, and they're super duper handy because they're SO big! this one just contains soft animals and other soft toys, and really his favourite game is to empty it out completely and then leave a huge mess everywhere, occasionally talking to a penguin along the way.

his cot bed is from Ikea, and unfortuantely they don't do this one anymore, which is such a shame because it is perfect! barred all the way round, with no full flat edges, able to have it at two heights, and able to take down one side to make it into a bed to last until he goes to school / we have another baby that needs it and he can get a single bed.

his changing table is actually just a set of drawers that used to be in our bedroom, but that we repurposed - there's a lot of repurposing in his room - and no contains all his clothes, shoes, socks, changing "stuff" and cloth nappies...

the best part of the room, or well, my favourite part, is the reading corner, where every evening he climbs onto mummy or daddy's lap with his choice of book and we sit and read and rock gently. the nice warm lamp illuminates the room in a beautifully "hygge" way (that's a Swedish word meaning 'warm and cosy') that makes him sleepy and me fell all full and happy. funny how a light can do that!

and then I did film a video tour of it, just so you can get the whole impression...

thank you so much for reading! i hope you have a lovely and very blessed day x

Friday, 23 February 2018

forgiveness, resentment and setting love limits

i've recently just filmed a video all about how i have been resenting my husband for the last 5 years. in one small way, that turned into this giant monster of resentment that turned me bitter towards him and towards marriage in some ways too.

it's a very open video (i cry twice) and it's just something that's been so close to my heart lately. so i wanted to write about it more here, because i just feel it's pretty important...

grace upon grace upon grace

the main thing that i've been reminded of several times this week is that God loves me in a way that is endlessly patient, unconditionally loving and outrageously gracious. whenever i mess up, which is often of course, i am forgiven, no matter what. this is the same grace, love and patience that i should be demonstrating to my husband.

but i haven't.

since we got married my family have always had an issue with how many hours he works, and therefore how little time he got to spend with me and look after me. and their issue was also my issue. it seems that the way i was brought up to think was really strong when it came to work ethic, and that i was raised to believe in the importance of time as a love language. that family time and quality time with family members was the most important way of showing love (thanks "5 love languages" book for helping me to realise this one.

so, when my husband consistently, for our whole marriage, has come home at 7:30-8pm you can see that i might think he didn't love me enough, or didn't love me in the right way. and it became the thing we argued about the most because i didn't understand why he wanted to stay at work and not see me (and since we had our boy, us). and we argued because i kept being told by other people that i respect that such a work ethic isn't normal. we argued because i felt lonely. we argued because i felt less important than his job. that i felt that i wasn't a priority.

now, let's rewind to last monday. i watched 'The Shack' - did you ever see it? (it's brilliant, so you should!) well, i was reminded of this ridiculous love from God, and how i haven't been treating my husband this way. that i say, "i'll love you if you come home at 6:30pm". that i set limits on how i choose to love him.

instead, on Monday, i chose to look at it the way God would see it. that he would graciously see his heart in wanting to work for the family to build a future, that he would see how much he wants to do right in his workplace and never leave a job undone or inperfect. that he would say 'thank you' on a Friday when he comes in exhausted after a 60 hour work week, instead of feeling hard done by because he's not been around to help with childcare.

so, this week i tried to see it through His eyes. so when the husband came in through the door, i asked him how i could help, i didn't berate him for the time it was, and i showed sympathy and understanding without mentioning how hard i'd found things in the day. i tried not to get frustrated that sometimes he forgets to ask how things are with me or doesn't appear to listen, and remember that he's really mentally drained from his day.

it's still not easy. but my heart feels SO much lighter than it did last week. and i will keep praying that i continue to see things in the same way. i'm sure i'll slip up again, multiple times, but God will remind me and there will be sufficient grace on his end too.

why forgiveness is the answer

the other thing that has been bugging me lately is just the amount of unforgiveness i see around me. it upsets me hugely to see people shut people out, and i reject the culture that says if someone consistently annoys you that you should cut them out of your life. i just think those annoying people are usually the people that need to be shown the most love! i actually see this SO much in churches, which makes me feel really ashamed.

we don't know anyone's whole history, how they grew up and how their parents and culture taught them to think. their background is not their fault. it takes a long time to change things that are hard-wired in the brain, and we cannot expect people to think the same way as us. and so we should have patience. and understanding for wherever people are at on their path.

by showing people love, patience and grace, unconditionally, then we can begin to change the world. i honestly believe that.

our culture at the moment is turned so inwards - in some ways, i believe in all the "self" messages that are being taught at the moment. actually 'self care' is important, because a little time to ourselves is positive, and we should take time to enjoy things we love. but i think the more time you spend looking outwards instead of inwards will give you better mental health. and fundamentally we are in a bit of a mental health crisis, aren't we?

so let's stop self-reflecting, start looking upwards and outwards. take time to step in other peoples shoes. take time to forgive the smallest and the biggest hurts.

thank you for reading this whole post - it's rather a diversion to my normal type of post, but i just wanted to share my journey, in case it can help anyone else feel a little lighter.